Saturday, October 12, 2013

Endurance to Cross Your Own Finish Line

This month, our birthday month, we're talking a lot about our journey from the island to the mainland. Call me idealistic, but I believe that everyone who wants to can make that trip. I also believe that being a writer isn't necessarily about being fair or even being talented. Sometimes it's just about determination and preparation.

 Here's a shocker for you..maybe you better sit down. I used to run. In fact, thirteen years ago, I was running seven miles on my speed days. I love running. Maybe as much as writing. 

I don't run anymore.

What happened? 

I stopped.

I remember talking to my doctor about my frustration a few years ago. She said to start again. 

Right. HOW?

One step at a time.

And that's exactly how it is with writing and your journey to the mainland. It begins one word at a time. One paragraph at a time. One page at a time.

Runners World Magazine has this advice for new runners: 

"The first 2 miles are the hardest 2 miles you will ever run. Once you have reached this level of fitness, it's relatively easy to do more. You simply have to budget the time, and be patient and disciplined in your training."

The same is true of writing your first book. The commonality here is that both of these efforts level the playing field. No matter how exalted you were in your previous life as a teacher, a brain surgeon, a real estate magnate or an artist, we all start out at the same starting line when we lace up those sneakers begin our running/writing journey. Sure some of us are blessed with long legs, or maybe the gift of storytelling, but we all must run the race.

  •  "Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."   - Doug Larson, English gold-medalist runner

  • "Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic." - Tim Noakes  Professor, runner in more than 70 marathon and ultra-distance events

  •  "Without patience, you will never conquer endurance."-Yiannis Kouros, holder of multiple world ultra records

 Endurance is built by patience and training.

So, I've created some island training plans to meet you where you are as a runner/writer. The most important thing about any training plan is to avoid setting yourself up to fail. 

Evaluate what you've been doing for the last thirty days and pick an appropriate training plan that will produce success.

After you reach your consecutive day goals feel free to move to the next level or adjust the plans to your individual needs.  An example would be writing six days per week or two sessions daily.

You don't have to move up a level.  

Beginning Writer Training Plan

 This 30 day plan is designed to get you in the habit of daily writing.

Your only goals are the beginning word count and ending word count. Weeks 2 & three are the same. It doesn't matter if it takes you all day to reach your daily goal or thirty minutes. One writing session or three. You must meet your daily goal.

Anytime you lapse, you must start over at day 1. So if on day 3 you get sick, then on day 4 you are back on day 1. If you are on day 29 and life gets in the way, you start over at day 1. Continue until you make it through 30 days. Use the goal numbers provided if possible. You can switch to different projects for the 30 days. But if you do not meet your daily goal you must always go back to the starting line. You may not edit. At the end of thirty consecutive days of writing you will have a minimum of 21,000 words.

1. Week 1 - Write 500 words seven days consecutively.

2. Week 2 - Write 750 words seven days consecutively.

3. Week 3 - Write 750 words seven days consecutively.

4. Week 4 -Write 1000 words seven days consecutively.


Intermediate Writer Training Plan

Pick a project. Any project. This is the project you'll stay with for six weeks. No excuses. You may not edit this project. Strive for reaching your word count goal in one session (no matter how long that session is) with breaks. Ideally, after six weeks you can maintain your goal and then add an editing session later in the day. If you do not meet your daily goal you must always go back to the starting line. Your six week goal is 42 consecutive days and a minimum of 63,000 words.

1. Week 1 - Write 1000 words seven days consecutively.

2. Week 2 - Write 1000 words seven days consecutively.

3. Week 3 - Write 1500 words seven days consecutively.

4. Week 4 -Write 1500 words seven days consecutively.

5. Week 5- Write 2000 words seven days consecutively. 

6. Week 5- Write 2000 words seven days consecutively.

Advanced Writer Training Plan 

Do not begin this plan unless you have successfully trained through the beginner and intermediate plans. No editing. Editing is done in another session during your writing day. Break as needed during sessions.

Adjust this plan to meet your needs and lifestyle.

DAY 1 Session-Average pacing 1000 to 2000 words

DAY 2 Session-Average pacing 1500 to 2000 words

DAY 3 Session-Average pacing 2000 words

DAY 4 Session-Speed day-Push toward doubling your regular daily output

DAY 5 Session-Slow day- goal is 1000 words.

DAY 6 Session-Average pacing 1000 to 2000 words



 Crossing your own finish line isn't about's about crossing the finish line.  It's all about one word, one paragraph, one page. 

Don't ever stop!

We're at day 12 of our Birthday Party. Let's get this party started!! I want to see a comment from every lurker out there today!! We've got enough prizes to cover all of you and there's still a Week 3 prize and an iPad mini up for grabs. No hoops to jump through! JUST COMMENT!! You have until midnight tonight (12:01 Sunday)  when the WEEKEND EDITION GOES UP

Today I'm giving away one 30 Day Mentoring Package to one runner/writer. It includes goal planning sessions, critiquing and butt kicking. 

To another runner/writer/reader a copy of their choice of any of my Tina Radcliffe/Tina Russo books as available. 

To a third runner/writer a first chapter critique. Max 20 pages in Courier font.

And one final runner/writer/reader will receive some carb loading-a chocolate prize package from! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

Do share which training plan you're claiming or share your own training plan and which giveaway you'd run/write for!

BTW, here's some trivia for you. Did you know that if you write 2,000 words a day that equals 12 Love Inspired contemporary romances a year? -Thank you to Rogenna Brewer for that math.

Check here for prize info!

Tina Radcliffe writes inspirational romance for Love Inspired, and sweet, humorous contemporary romance as Tina Russo. Her indie releases, The Rosetti Curse and Love in Bloom, are available on Amazon. She is currently moving one step at a time toward her own finish line.


  1. First one here? Almost done sunny, incident free day should do it....150 acres. So guess that's why I'm visiting early. Too early for Helens coffee! I world love one of your novels, Tina as I'm a reader not a writer! Love the analogy. Thanks


  2. Coffee's on. Check.

    Commented. Check.

    Wrote a synopsis today. I consider that a worthy day's work.

  3. So if I win the chapter crit I can't submit in Papyrus or Bazooka font?? Bummer. :(

    My plan for the next 30 days? Get as much done one handed typing as possible and feed the kids three times a day.

  4. Maybe Bazooka..if you insist!!!!

    One handed typing puts hair on your chest.

  5. Everything in this post is sooo true.
    I'm at the point where I write 1,000 words,at least, a day, five days a week. Then I squeeze in what I can on the weekends.
    I'd LOVE to win the mentoring package. Call me crazy, but I have this goal of pretty much finishing my book by the end of this year. I'm almost to the point of rewriting, but I can't stop thinking, "I love this story. I don't know how to change it and make it better!" It will be my first "real" finished book, not counting the suspense story I wrote as a teen which had about 35,000 words. . .yeah, trust me, that shouldn't be counted. My uncle who lives in the same town as Nicholas Sparks told me he could get it in that famous man's hands. Yeah, um, that sooo did not happen. Which was a blessing in disguise since that story was absolutely laughable.
    Anyway, Tina, in case you've forgotten, you are one of my most favorite people in the world! (That 10-page critique, if you remember lol). You are an encourager, if I've ever met one.

    Great post all around. . .now I must sleep, or I'll never make it through the softball tournament tomorrow--as a bleacher-warmer, mind you. I don't have an athletic bone in my body.

  6. LOL. Courtney, you are a high ENERGY! There is no doubt you will cross your own finish line.

  7. P.S. I don't even like Nicholas Sparks. His heroes and/or heroines can only die or be forever separated so many times before I, as a reader, am too depressed to bother with another one of his sob stories. He obviously does not understand HEAs.

  8. Awesome post.

    I am not a runner.
    I am not even a walker. I wander... slowly.... from place to place.

    But I do work hard when I need to. Um, I also slack off a lot. I'm not sure what that makes me. Indecisive? Irresponsible?

    But I have tons of fun working my brains out AND vegging myself silly, so I'm happy.

  9. I'm gearing up to attempt NaNoWriMo, so your writing plan is just what I need to get back to writing steadily! I'm going to I'm GOING to do the Intermediate plan. It's a little overwhelming, but I really want to challenge myself. Would love to win the 30 Day Mentoring Package - especially for the butt kicking!

    Starting on Monday. (Using the weekend for planning/plotting.) Was that the starter gun I just heard?

  10. Ohhhhh! A print worthy post. I'm a Walker, trying to be a runner. I walk 5 min, run 1 min for a mile. Then walk the rest of an hour. So this all makes since.

    Im concerned if I start with intermediate that I'll fail, especially since im juggling all sorts of writing related stuff, so I am going with the beginners starting today.

  11. Saved this post into a file on the desktop!!!

    Reminds me of Couch to 5K. Which I need to pick up again. Started it spring of '12 and fizzled out. I miss it.

    I'm adopting the Beginner Writer plan as soon as Book #2 is plotted. then moving right into Intermediate. But before that, I'm going to query at least more agents and work on the proposal I should already have finished, but will have a throw-down with it tomorrow. Want to have book 2 plotted and first few scenes written by Nov. 1.

    I'd love a chance for the Mentoring Package! I think. It sounds a little scary. ;) But fun. Put my name in the drawing.

  12. I would love any of those prizes.
    I have been lurking and shirking for a while but don't want to miss a party.

  13. Oh, I love plans! I have four different calendars and I'm always filling them with word counts. And if Christina Rich starts at the Beginners (that starting over on Day 29 is a killer) that's good enough for me! Sign me up for the butt kicking--I mean mentoring package!

  14. This is such a great idea. Success is rarely accidental. There's usually a long road of good old hard work involved, and this outline is the charted road, Tina!

    I love the brass tacks approach. And the analogy. And the quotes.


    I've always added my personal mini-reward system into the mix, some tiny thing for myself to say, "Good job, Ruthy. You're on pace." It can be as simple as time to walk the dog or two pieces of chocolate or 43 minutes to catch up on Castle.

    Either way, I always feel like I earned it and it refreshes me.

    I should be rewarding myself with PRAYER, shouldn't I?????


    Now you know the real me.

  15. Looks like I'm at the intermediate level, on a good day.

    As far as running, NO WAY, lol. I walk. Leisurely. But I guess I do chase little kids all day at my day job and at home and that involves a whole lot of running.

    The prizes look great--all of them.

    Thank you for the wonderful post today!

  16. Running or walking, Seeker Villagers are so amazing. Who else would say KICK MY BUTT PLEASE?


  17. Mary Cline!!!! WOOT!! Good for you!

  18. Good morning Tina!

    This is a good pep talk to prepare for NANOWRIMO! Thanks for the inspiration.

    I'm so excited to tell you all my plan for the next 30 day. Tuesday I'm leaving for a 10 day trip to Spain. We've never been to Europe so I'm pretty excited.

    Why Spain? Because my youngest son is spending 3&1/2 months there for college. So I'm SUPER excited to see him.

    I decided I had to take my laptop to write at the end of each day about what we see and do. (It may be research for a future book.)

    When we get back home, I'm going to create my characters for a book I hope to write in November. I've already got a rough plot idea and theme. So we'll see how it goes.

    Thanks for the inspiration today!

  19. I'd rather write a novel than run a marathon, definitely. I have asthma, which probably contributes to why running seems so utterly exhausting. . . because my body has to work harder than most to breathe! I do usually go to the gym 2-3 times per week, but that's stopped lately because I've been sick.

    I love Ruthy's quote about success rarely being accidental. :-)

  20. Wonderful, wonderful post! I love the math involved in writing. Who knew? lol. I edit dissertations, and the one thing I hear a lot is that the hardest part of writing a dissertation, is actually getting started. Once you are in the habit of writing daily, whether it is 15-30 minutes a day, or a set word count, you've passed the hardest part. I have to set aside time, whether before work, during lunch, after work, or right before bedtime, or writing does not get done. I have started an inspirational romance so I will take the beginner's challenge. When I started this, I was on vacation and wrote 1000 words/day, and had ideas for three or four other books. After going back to work, life got in the way. But thanks to this encouraging and inspiring post, I'm going to finish this book and the others I have in mind. Probably will end up being for my own enjoyment, like the short stories I've written, but I still enjoy reading those. Would love to win one of Tina's books! Thanks for the giveaway!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  21. I have coffee in hand, thank you Helen. Tina, this is a great post thank you. I will print this out and start with the Beginning Writer's Training Plan. I have a difficult time trying to find enough hours in the day but if I have it sitting in front of me and make an appointment with myself, I'm sure I can manage...or it will be back to day one.

    Have a blessed joyful day everyone!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  22. I love this! It's like Couch to 5k for writers.

    I also was a runner in the past and gave it up for parenthood and a full time job. I keep trying to get back to it, but an injury to my leg keeps me run pushing past the 2 mile mark.

    Now I'm feeling inspired to try C25K and your writing challenge at the same time.


  23. Very inspirational, Tina! I'm glad I'm a writer and not a runner -- it's much easier on the body.

    Okay, it's Day 1...

  24. I'm in for the training/butt kicking. I do two hours each morning. It's killed my body doing more this week. So after SYTYCW I will be back to the two hours and weekends off. No more marathons. But I love that I now consider 70k words doable.

    Peace, Julie

  25. If I had read this post somewhere other than Seekerville, I STILL would have known who wrote it, and I’ve never actually met any of the Seekers. Each has her own style of butt-kicking. :)

    Although my current project is a love story, it doesn't fit the traditional romance genre. Otherwise, I’d throw my name in the hat for a chance at a much-needed, month-long butt-kicking. Ditto the critique. But please enter me in everything else.

    By choosing your Intermediate Writer Training Plan, I’ll be challenging myself. I’m already thinking of it as Tina’s butt-kicking by proxy.

    Thanks. I’m going to go back and read this again.

  26. Good Morning, Tina.

    LOVE your post, but we all know that I'm a goal oriented writer. Ask Erica Vetsch and Mary about my word count spreadsheet!

    Setting yearly and monthly goals really helped take my writing career to the next level.

    This was very good advice!

  27. LOVE to win the mentoring, but it all sounds good. If I win the critique from Tina I can send the revised chapter from the critique I won LAST year. WQhat a rye-ott. I am training myself for NANO and doing my research for the book I hope to write in Nov. I cheated a little by writing some of the first few chapters, but the point is to have a finished book at the end of the month so I'm okay with that. It is the sequel to my after-world-war-1 Hell's Kitchen romance and takes place in the Bowery at the very beginning of Prohibition. (Worst. Idea. Ever, except for the Crusades. You can tell a bunch of middle-class white men thought that one up. The Crusades, not Prohibition.) I do think it's important to have a plan and stick with it, especially for people who have complicated lives or are easily distracted. My computer is in the living room and my husband watches The Weather Channel for hours on end. ANYHOO, My goal is to be like Mary and have several finished books ready to go when I get The Call. That's kind of the way I approach everything, buying stuff on sale for next year etc. Most of my Christmas presents were bought -- and wrapped -- by September. I always want to Be Ready. I am a plotter in my personal life. My husband is a pantser. We have an interesting life.
    Well, it is a rainy Saturday and I am going to go trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. I will be checking in later.
    Kathleen D. Bailey
    With a plan in New Hampshire


    Hmmm... I'm not sure where I'm going to go. I *do* have a method that works for me [most of the time] but it doesn't involve writing everyday most of the time...

    I do super fast drafts [like a 70-75K rough draft in a month] then let it sit then edit. It's worked [or some variation on it] for 10 manuscripts so far and I'm looking forward to doing it with NaNo too. For me that's the fun part of writing. The spewing forth of new...

    I'm working on getting my characters and such ready. My time since conference has been spent polishing up SpeedBo 2012's manuscript [it was requested] then sent it off to my critters. Until time to work on it again [and November], I'm reading.

    To go along with Ruthy, one of my favorite quotes [as much as I hate it ;)] is "You never see the years of hard work that went in to being an overnight success."

    I'm in for all the drawings :).

    And back to reading [right now: Janice Thompson's new Writing and Selling the Great American Novel to be followed by Romance-ology 101 by... um... that one lady... ;)]

  29. I've recently learned to fast draft (hence the math), but it doesn't come easy for me. Sometimes 2K can take me all day.

  30. Tina, awesome post! Your prizes are amazing and certain to lure lurkers to leave a comment. Yay!!

    I didn't know you were a runner! I can't remember the last time I actually ran. But, most days I get in a walk. I write at that slower pace. Anyone know how to stop me from revising besides putting a gun to my head? I can't seem to do it. Even so, words do pile up.

    I brought cinnamon rolls, gooey and warm drizzled with frosting. They take a while to make but they're worth the effort, especially cyber effort. ;-)

    I'm heading to my stretch session then will spend the day at the computer. My dh is not home. No workers are banging around in our bathroom. The house is quiet. Perfect for adding words to my story.

    Have a great weekend all!


  31. A great post to get the blood pumping! I wish I was a runner. I'm more into squatting, jumprope and balancing.

    I don't go anywhere in my exercise.

    I hope that's not significant... tell me it ain't so!! :-D

  32. A journey of an entire book begins with a single word.

    Is that a saying?

    I need to refine it.

  33. COURTNEY FAITH!!!!!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

  34. Wow, Jackie! Have a great time.

    I'm seriously thinking of driving to town and buying the ingredience for tacos for lunch, so you're not the only one who gets out you know!!!!

  35. I for years had a 300 words a day 7 days a week rule. I often wrote more but I rarely wrote less. And the reason that's good is because ... like SALLY SAID ... it is getting started. It is the FIRST LINE that is the hard one.

    You very often stop the day before because you're not sure what to write next. Oh sure sometimes you're out of time. Sometimes the kids interrupt. Sometimes life calls you away from the computer. But often you stop because you're done with a scene or not sure where to take your story. So to START again is hard and THAT'S why that 300 is important. (or 500 or 1000, it's not the number it's the STARTING)

  36. I always feel like I've accomplished something when I write 1k a day. Some days it's less but so long as it's close I'm happy.

    *Chocolate never hurts*

    Next weekend I'm dragging the whole family to Missouri to do research on the next writing project with my crit partners.

  37. I am intimately acquainted with asthma, Naomi and definitely feel your pain. Fortunately this is only a running ANALOGY.

  38. Jackie, apparently Spain is the place to be. I know three Spain travelers. Have fun. You deserve it.

  39. The math of writing is scary addictive, Sally!!! What did was your recent degree in?

  40. C25K Reagan? You can't start out with 5K? Ouch.

  41. Butt kicking by proxy. Now that gives me real world domination potential, Cara. he he he

  42. Word count spread sheets, Rose? You and Pam need to chat. She's our Excel queen. We may have dueling crowns.

  43. I like your Nano plan, Kathy B. But what does this mean? "I am going to go trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored."

  44. Carol Moncado, just keep doing what works for you as long as it produces results.

    However I always think about this quote.

    If you always do what you always do, you'll always get what you always get.

    Is that a good thing or NOT???

    Sometimes shaking it up is an excellent plan.

  45. My hips thank you for the cinnamon rolls, Janet. The rest of me, not so much.

    Yes, Rogenna. I agree. Some days that 2K is two hours and other days it's 12.

  46. Mary Hicks, yeah. Here is a sad commentary. My internet stopped working. But I have wireless. So I am now standing on my treadmill writing you from my laptop. I could run or walk, but I really can't, can I? I haven't had my java yet. You get that, RIGHT???

  47. Mary Connealy, I so get how buying tacos is like going to Spain.


  48. This is such an encouraging post, Tina, and just what I needed to get back into the race again.

    I fear I squandered September with back to work angst. Even though it's part-time now, I had to unpack my entire library because it got painted over the summer...oh and the day I unpacked the last box of books and my shelves were all in order the school board building supervisor came through and informed me that I'd be getting a new carpet now and I needed to pack up the entire library all over again!!!!! In November!!!!!! Aaaagggghhhh!

    Plus I've been balancing tons of medical appts and such so I was kind of zoned out in September.

    But now I'm raring to go -- especially because I have a new strategy for writing comfortably. I had an occupational therapist do a home visit and she gave me TONS of tips for ergonomic living. The best one is a hospital bedside table. You know, the kind on wheels and the base fits under the bed and I can adjust the height of the table part so I can sit in bed, prop up my angsty foot and write to my heart's content. I`m super excited!!!

    So...this was a long way of saying I`m starting out with the Beginning Writing Plan tomorrow. No, I`m not procrastinating. We`re celebrating our Canadian Thanksgiving today so I have tons of stuff to get done for that.

    So glad you are a butt-kicker, Tina!!!!! :-)

  49. Loved this post, Tina! I used to walk 2 miles a day (for 29 yrs.)..'course I missed some days but not many. However, that came to a complete halt last year when I developed sacrum problems, hip problems, sciatica and all those fun (old age) things!
    I really miss it; am having injections and perhaps I can start back walking.
    Would love to win one of your books....especially The Rancher's Reunion...Have read OR and MDH. I have plenty of time to read now!

  50. Wow, I love these plans, Tina! This is a great, inspirational post, too! I cannot imagine running 7 miles in a year, much less in one day. Haha! But it's fun to think about writing in those terms of training and endurance and daily goals.

    I've been on a short hiatus from writing, but next week I will be back in the saddle, so to speak, back to working hard and pushing myself to get those words in. I'll have to come back and re-read this post for the first few days! :-) And I want to make sure I say that I am very impressed you were a runner capable of running 7 miles, Tina! You never cease to amaze me!!!

  51. Oh, I forgot to say, I want to win the chocolate! I need it to motivate me to write, okay? ;-)

  52. Way to go, KAV. So proud of you.

    Those tables are very popular now. You can use them sitting on the couch with a foot propped up as well.

    Have one at my house. You can get them for as low as 49$ online.

  53. Hope you can start back as well, Jackie.

    Yeah. RR is hard to find in print, but available in Kindle.

  54. Tina! What a great post. That's just the encouragement I need. I try and write 2000 a day most of the time, but being a mommy of two little ones makes it kind of hard sometimes. "Get to work, Amber! You can do it!" Hugs!! :)

  55. You need chocolate and I respect that, Melly.

  56. When you break it down like that, you make it sounds so simple, Teenster! You sound like my son -- it's all in the math, mom!

    True, true, true, numbers don't lie, it's just the perseverance of getting them down on paper (or screen) that determines your success.

    BTW, I love the quote by Vidal Sasson about the dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. I'm hanging that tidbit of inspiration on my computer!!

    So, starting today, I'm counting my words, AND my steps. Gotta back in the groove of walking (with or without the dog)!!

  57. Hi Tina and all you energized Seekers and Villagers. I'm in for everything. Gulp.

    I do 30 minutes on the treadmill and 1000 words on the keyboard a day, 5 days a week. That's my goal, most days I make it.

    Today I play. (That's important too.) Watching the grandkids on the fair rides and a country music concert tonight. Have a great weekend all.

  58. 2000 words a day = 12 LI Contemps a year...Rogenna, those numbers are mind numbing.

  59. I have to tell you, this state is all backwards.

    I think it must be like living in Australia.

    All around me snow is starting to fall, but NOT here. Nope. It's SPRING.

    People riding bikes, kids on skates, couples walking dogs. My office window is open. A slight breeze with a hint of cool.

    WONDERFUL. THIS IS WINTER IN ARIZONA and boy do I deserve it.

  60. Good job, Elaine, you have a very good plan in place already!

    No gulping allowed. You are in the drawing.

  61. Give me a pen and some paper, or a laptop and a keypad. I afraid I'd be a danger to myself running!

    But I've been logging 3 miles a day on my treadmill desk for a couple of months now.

    Then last week, I injured my foot somehow...from what I can tell, possibly on the TREADMILL itself.

    Had a huge goose egg on it after 3 hours or so on the treadmill. Either I had the laces too tight on my shoes, or something. It's much, much better now. Barely a pea sized knot. Then I twisted my ankle this morning (very, very mildly) running around trying to feed six puppies.

    Crazy around here, but I'm going to ease back on the treadmill and try again. And while I'm at it, I'll be writing! :)

  62. I did a Couch to 5K once, in my mid-twenties. Ten years later, it seems like an overshot for me. But I know that I need to get back to both walking/running on a regular basis.

    I do love challenges, though. :) I'm gonna do this. And I love what you said about, if life gets in the way on day four, then you're at day 1. I need to remember that... the perseverance.

    Besides, I need to learn how to get words in, even when life gets in the way. I've had two weeks of every-day rehearsal so we could open last night, and now two weeks of shows, and I still need to get words in every day, or my deadlines will be too stressful. This could really set me on the right way.

    Thanks so much for this post!!

  63. Good for you, Rebecca. THE WRITING SHOW MUST GO ON!!!!!

  64. Pam, this appears to be a dangerous time in your life.

    I suggest Kav's method. Sit on the bed with feet up and write.

  65. Oh my stars, I'm just glad to see we don't really have to run with this... like physically! But I'm all over running with the idea of it and Connealy...

    You would really run out and buy taco stuff?

    Are ya' kiddin' me???

    It's like an hour to the nearest store. Do you have a cow?


    Do you have chili powder?




    Garlic, onion, paprika????

    Triple yes.

    Lettuce and tomato?


    Oy. You might have to run out after all. It's the shells that get us, why don't we keep a pack frozen all the time, 24/7, 365???


  66. You're from Montana, Rebecca. I have spent many a summer on Flathead Lake in Polson.

    Have a few stories under the bed ready to have their chance in the light, that are set there.

  67. Did you notice Moncado agreeing with me????

    I'm pumped.

    She's like the fastest writer in the SOUTH.

    Totally psyched that we think alike. Kind of. Some days. :)

    I'm supposed to be writing but had to stop in and see if there was food. And Janet Dean did not disappoint me, she brought cinnamon rolls. I'm totally over-the-top happy!!!!

    YAY, JANET!!!!! (gobbles furiously and regains typing energy like Pac-man on Roids!!!!)


  68. I like Tina's "Shake it Up" advice.

    Tina is smart.

    Tina is lovely.

    Tina is smart.

    (Am I laying it on too thick????) Anyway, I have to say I'm in total agreement with this, straight back to Einstein's definition of insanity... doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

    I think shake-ups in life are truly good for us even if they don't FEEL good at that moment.

    In retrospect??? Usually a life-giving or life-affirming lesson.

  69. .
    “It’s not about counting words.
    It’s about writing words that count.”


    (Pause: OU is playing Texas)

  70. Kav said: The best one is a hospital bedside table. You know, the kind on wheels and the base fits under the bed and I can adjust the height of the table part so I can sit in bed, prop up my angsty foot and write to my heart's content.

    Tina and Kav, that is excellent advice!! :)

  71. Rose, if something can't be done with a spreadsheet, it's probably not worth doing.

    Okay, I'm kidding.


  72. I would NOT run out and buy taco stuff. I am actually making myself EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN SOUP.
    Have I ever shared this genius recipe with you at Yankee Belle Café, Ruthy?

    It is a family favorite. I actually made a VAT of it Wednesday night because I was gone Thursday and Friday and we will finis it for lunch today.

    It's good, fast, easy. The trinity required for me to be interested in any recipe.

    Which reminds me (I'm watching football GO BIG RED!!!) I need to put on a roast for supper.

    My Cowboy also has farmland and it is HARVEST TIME. So I am what I think of as an AGRICULTURAL WIDOW for the foreseeable future.

  73. Wonderful post. Can't wait to share! Thanks, Tina!

  74. Sarge is in session!!!

    Whoo hoo!
    Thanks Tina.

    And no. Doesn't surprise me a bit that you were a runner.

    I like your plans. Won't be committing to one until January. Must promote book coming out in three weeks! YES! THREE WEEKS!!! WAHOOO!!!

    So. Excited.

    But I WILL be ready to go in January. Will that count? I see merits in all 3 plans. Since I'm undecided, guess that means I need to take the Intermediate. :)

    Sign me up! may at maythek9spy dot com

  75. Crossing the finish line is not about winning--it's about crossing the finish line. ~ LOVE that! ~ And YAY TINA for getting back to your running!!

    As much as I'd like to commit to one of your plans, Tina...I have to set my own for the coming month (due to some medical appts. and high school reunion soon!). SO...I am working towards my goal to submit requested chapters to an editor in no more than a month, and writing EVERY day.

    Please put me in the drawing for either one of your books, OR a first chapter critique, OR chocolate. THANKS!!
    Hugs, Patti Jo (who is out of breath thinking about all that running) ;)

  76. May and K.C and Patti Jo!

    Yes, it's all about your own plan.

    GOOD FOR YOU for knowing what works for you!!

  77. Like that photo on your laptop, Vince. What book are you reading now??

  78. Amber, how did I miss your post?

    It really is all about finding what works for you.

    The Diana Nyad quote!!!

  79. Thanks for the post Miss T. I have done little writing this week. But i suppose i still have to stay in the race and finish. Okay but no jogging. Right now, I just want to finish moving and cleaning. We're on the last quarter mile and having a yard sale blow out. Whoo hoo.

    Anyone want to come buy my junk.

    My latest book a novella.comes out Tues. So I have finished something I guess.



  80. All in good time, right Pinson.

    Keep moving forward.

    1. Yuppers and there's no time like the present, but what is time. Does anybidy really know what time it is.

      Excuse me I waxing all philly soph a cul like.


  81. Oh and the butt kicking prize sounds awesome. But then so does chocolate. Butt kicking... chocolate... hmm.

  82. I love the step by step, a bite at a time, pick up your speed and GO! This is doable. Definitely doable.

    My goal is usually 2500 words/day, five days a week - but the last couple weeks have been spent editing and polishing...

    ...and making applesauce.

    I brought 5 bushels of apples back from Indiana a couple weeks ago, and the last of them are being turned into applesauce today before they rot on the kitchen floor.

    Put me in the drawing, please! As soon as the apples and the manuscript polishing are done, I'm starting on the next story!

  83. Apples and manuscripts. Great visuals. I like that, Jan.

  84. I thought you were just singing Chicago songs, Pinson.

  85. Great timing post, Tina.

    I ran a half marathon last Saturday w/my husband. Correction, I survived a half marathon, only jogged about half. But I crossed the finish line and didn't leave on a stretcher!!!!

    As I get older,(will turn 46 in a couple of months) I find myself enjoying conversations about medications. Whoa. I have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Got to change that. Already signed up another half on New Year's Eve and hope to run a better time.

    I love how you break down the goals.
    I can do anything for 30 days. And making me start over if I get off, brilliant, but so simple.

    I want to send my current wip to an editor by the end of this month so I can start fresh for November on a new project.

    Please, no chocolate for me, but throw my name into the hat for 30 day mentor.

  86. This is such great advice! I'm sharing it in a few writer groups.

  87. Oh - I so need a butt kicking. Here we go on a 30 day training regime. Guess I'll be starting at the beginning. Great coffee Helen. Thanks Tina

  88. Tina, I LOVED this. Having things mapped out for me the way you've done it. It's so much easier to see how achievable finishing a first draft is.

    The analogy between running and writing was great. I confess I've never been a runner. My body doesn't like it. :) I've been an off and on walker. I confess I've been much more diligent about it in the last year because, um, the "Freshmen Fifteen" has nothing on the "Forty-something ##" weight gain. :)

    My plan for the next thirty days is to finish my not-so-fast draft within the next two weeks. While it "rests," I want to begin discovering who my characters are for the book after that. Then I'll begin revisions in earnest on the current book. For my next fast draft, I intend to use your Intermediate writer plan. That works the way I do, when my story is mostly organized in my head. :)

    PLEASE put me in for all the drawings. I'd especially love to win the critique and the mentor session. :)

    Loved this, Tina!

  89. Wow, surviving a half marathon is nothing if not AMAZING. Congratulations, Connie.

    30 days. What's thirty days in the scheme of things??

  90. Thanks, Hallee.

    Funny thing is I stumbled across your brilliant comment to that annoying HuffPost article about Indie Publishing.

    Your response was so eloquent. I had read it before, but now as an Indie author it really, really, really hit the spot.

  91. Jeanne, you have a great plan.

    People with plans succeed!!

  92. Butt Kicker is my middle name, Cindy R. Be careful what you wish for.

  93. Boy, do I need that Mentoring Packet! Seems like my own plan isn't working to get me across the finish line. I'm afraid my running days are over, but being consistent with my walking is a challenge in itself, not to mention being consistent in my writing. Thanks for the great plans - they make these goals look so much more attainable!

  94. im late again. You know this is good advice for many aspects of a persons life (fitness for example) starting small and pacing yourself does work.
    Love the analogy. It takes me back to when I started walking again and to what I can do or was doing now. (had to ease back cos of the headaches)

    you know I told my dr that getting healthier and fitter has been bad for me. She said no you are doing much better. I said yes but I have been here more times in the past year or so than the previous 10+ years put together.

    But I still am happier I started with that first step.

    By the way I am so glad so many of you write books for me to read and enjoy. If no one has told you that today know I really appreciate all of you.

  95. You're in the drawing, Marilyn Turk!!

  96. I believe in quality over quanity so I may very well change the word count to time limit. Believe me you start writing if you have to sit and stare at the screen for an hour. But sometimes you might write one paragraph that takes longer than 5,000 words( the most I have ever written in one day). I have been doing a lot of essays for school, that counts doesn't it :). Anyway I have to start writing on days I don't have midterms or essays.

  97. I've had to really come up with an individualized plan for writing since taking on the job of an acquiring editor. My main goal right now is to balance my personal writing and the editing, striving not to short-change either one. I'm getting there. Some days I'm still heavy on the one and light on the other. Thanks for great reminders and offers in this post.

  98. Tina, C25K stands for Couch to 5k. No. No 25kers for me. :)

  99. Hebrews 12:1b ....let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

    This has been rattling around in my head all day since I read this post this morning.

  100. Tina, my degree was in English with a concentration in Literature. I got to read and write papers for my degree. I loved it!

  101. Oooh better yet the whole verse.

    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

  102. This is so great! Just what I need right when I needed it! I have slacked off all summer and am ready to get back on track. I am going for the Intermediate Training Plan.

    I also want to challenge my cp to join me!! We can do it together!

    I am up for any of the great prizes.

  103. Pam H, I am envious of your treadmill desk. I hope you ankle continues to heal. I hopped over to your fb page to see puppy pictures. They are so cute!

    More pics please!

  104. Having experimented with many different approaches to writing, I finally found what works for me ... so my motto for now is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." (Apologies to Grammar Queen) That doesn't mean I'm not printing this out in case what works now doesn't work in the future.

    Mostly, Tina, it's wonderful that you care enough to kick us.

    Nancy C

  105. TINA -- Please, please, please ... I beg of you ... do not enter me in the drawing.

    I have the books. Oh my gosh, Grandma Rosetti is a scene-stealer if ever there was one. I'm still puzzled as to how you know the Sicilian side of my family and are able to portray them so accurately, but I continue to read.

    Anyhow, I have the books, and I am still working off the chocolate from a shop I discovered while on vacation.Thank heaven there are a lot of states ... a lot of states ... between that chocolate shop and me.

    Hence (because I have the books and must not succumb to more chocolate) my plea -- my most fervent plea -- that you not enter me in the drawing.


    Nancy C

  106. I live to kick butt, Nancy.


    This is why I love you.

    I am half Sicilian and half Napoletan.

  107. P.S. Does the chocolate shop have a web address??

  108. There you go. SHERIDA!!! Someone is calling you!!

  109. Go for it, Elizabeth. Whatever works for you.

    When you start depending on your writing to pay the bills, quality becomes quantity. Trust me on this.

  110. Oh thank you, that I don't have to ever write footnotes AGAIN.

  111. Sally, I thought it must be related to English.

    Smart gal.

  112. Hey, Paula, good to see you. I hope your new venture is as successful as your writing.

  113. Oh, my gosh. Reagan, I totally read that wrong.


    Mea Culpa.

  114. /whimpers and sits down next to whoever will give her sympathy/


    My inlaws have railroad ties flush with the ground along the gravel/hill part of their driveway.

    It rained this morning. There's also moss.

    You do the math.

    Right leg is now jacked up. Not TOO bad but parts hurt enough that I'd consider some leftover hydrocodone if I wasn't the only one home who has more than one digit in their age. The ball of my foot actually hurts the worst :(.

    Basically? No 5K in my future ;).

    But I'm reading Janice Thompson's new book on writing [after helping sis who's car was totaled look for a new one].

    I'm glad Tina's offering virtual tushie kicking because it already hurts. :(

    And you're right, Tina. It may be a good thing to change it up. Just in pondering [not to be argumentative], if you're getting better each time, even if you use basically the same process, is that the same results? Or better with practice?

    That kind of thinking is too heavy for tonight...

  115. So sorry, Carol. That sucks.

    I think what you need to do is the same as with running. Once you get so that achieving your goal is really easy you should stretch your goals.

    Probably 1 % of us get to that point.

    I am not in that 1 % as of this moment.

  116. Hi Tina:

    Hemingway said that he always stopped writing when things were going well. That way it was easy to pick up the next day where he left off. He also didn’t go for word counts. He went for working a few hours in the morning each day. His words were gems and they could not be rushed. He had to cut and polished them.

    You wrote: “I am half Sicilian and half Napoletan.” Does that mean you don’t speak Italian? : ) Now in Tuscany they speak Italian like Dante and they cook like the gods themselves were coming to dinner. Ah! To go to cooking school in Tuscany! That would be something to write about. Of course, it would also be nice to go to writing school in Tuscany. (I think that’s what you said last year that you were going to do with your WW income if you sold some stories! You sold the stories so when is the Seeker trip?)

    It’s a sad day in Oklahoma. I’ve just come in from lowering the Oklahoma flag to half-staff. The Texas coach just saved his job.

    That book I have in the picture is Michelle Lim’s, “idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel!” I think pantsers would be especially helped by the ideas in this book. It will increase the options for where the story goes next. I won it on Seekerville – the benefits never end.

    What I’m actually reading right now is “Manhattan Miracle” by Anna Schmidt. It’s part of “Love Finds You in the City”. and I was delighted to find out that it is a continuity novella that happens about 66 years after Ruth’s “Red Kettle Kitchen” which I think is the best Christmas story I’ve read since “The Christmas Carol”. Ruth’s story made me feel so good that I started reading Anna’s story immediately so I could keep the warm fuzzies going! Mark my words: Red Kettle Christmas needs to be entered into every competition there is. It is already a classic in my mind!


  117. Great post Teenster. Love the math. 12 books a year. woohoo

    But give time for revisions and edits. I know because I'm involved in that process now. yikes

  118. I don't know what Vince is reading, it looks like a writing book....

    (Ruthy yawns... stretches... and yawns again, just to poke fun at Vince!!!)


    But I love, love, love that picture in the background on Vince's desk!!!!!

    It's Ruthy and Mary and Tina and Vince in Oklahoma!!!!

    So much fun was had by all!!!! Braum's ice cream. Steve's Sundries. Tina's book signing!!!!



  119. Oh, Vince, I just saw your kind words about Red Kettle Christmas....

    Did you love it so much???? Was it good 1947 stuff??? Will the Salvation Army guys in Greater Manhattan love it when I send them copies??????

    That was my worry, that the real salvationists would be like "Really???? You've been watchin' too much TV, girlfriend!"

    But PBS nicely showed "Call the Midwife" right after I got this contract and I think God had his hand in that! I got to see the women in action, in the hospital in England, yes, but the very way they were doing things in post-war years...

    Jackie Robinson.

    Yankees win.

    Miracle on 34th Street.

    Kids, lights, a tree in Rockefeller Plaza.

    New York, New York.

    I'm happy dancing that you loved it, Vince!!!

  120. Oh, Carol.

    Ouch. Feeling your pain. Passing the ibuprofen. (fresh out of codon/supplements!!!!)

    I think getting better is HUGE....

    But then there's something else that goes along, indefinable but there.

    I think it's timing and it's God and it's getting better and it's opportunity and taking chances.

    If this was a recipe, I'd say two parts of each of those and let simmer.

    Simmer and patience are not always synonymous.


  121. My liver is unable to emulate Hemingway's writing habits.

    So I think I'll stumble along on my own and keep my eye on my own finish line despite the critics.

    I do look forward to reading Ruthy and Anna's book. Such a treat!!!!

  122. Requesting a shot at the mentoring package. Why do I feel like I need to reply, "Mother May I have a butt kicking, please?" Anyway, your offerings are very generous, Tina. Thanks for all you do.

    And thanks to the other Seekers for working to get 'We Hopefuls' off the the Island! That rowboat is lookin' mighty pretty right now.

  123. Really, isn't it the truth, Lyndee.

    Please kick my butt. PLEASE!!!!

    Yeah, we had to bring in more boats. The island is overflowing with writers who are so close it scares Captain Jack. They're all pacing and revising and waiting to hear news. And the mail boat is really slow!!!

  124. Tina - you are such an encourager! Please sign me up for the beginner. I'm struggling with staying on track right now.


  126. Someone mentioned to me that I have been remiss to not mention the secret formula for getting off the island.



  127. LOL, thanks Terri. I'd say you know what you're doing!! You got off that island.

  128. What great plans, Tina!! I love it! I do 1500-2000 on a good day. More often do 1k. Need to challenge myself to work faster.

  129. I'm in!

    I admit I edit as I write, but when I finish a book--it's done. I don't write 'drafts.'

    I'm still trying to speed up the writing :)

  130. We have just formed the world's biggest writing training team.

    T shirts will be ordered tomorrow.

    High five to you all!!!

  131. Tina Radcliffe said...
    I live to kick butt, Nancy.


    This is why I love you.

    I am half Sicilian and half Napoletan.

    - - -
    Aha! Now I know why the Rosetti family and neighbors remind me so much of the Sicilian side of the family! The other half is Irish. Nothing volatile about that mix :-)

    Nancy C


  132. Paesan@!!! WE ARE SISTERS OF THE DOUGH!

    Ha, that's Riley's heritage, Italian and Irish.

  133. What I love is how God will take you over that Finish line when you can't do it. And He'll make those 3000 words a day just flow and flow. Thanks for this great post! :)

  134. Sisters of the ..... dough?

    Is this a bakery reference?

    Maybe I have to be Sicilian to understand it.

    I'm mostly German (world domination fantasies), with Scottish (cheap) English (bad cook) and Irish (I need to learn to love beer!) thrown in.

    I believe it's okay to tell these tasteless jokes because they are about MYSELF!

  135. LOL, Mary. But you can shop so that makes up for it. You can buy TORTE!!

  136. So true, Carrie! He carries me often.

  137. I am so encouraged to get back into Intermediate shape, so much that this is my 3rd attempt at making a comment! Google Blogger + my iPhone put up a barrier but I persisted, even when it seemed impossible. See how much I learned from this post? Thanks Tina! And I'd love to be in the drawing.

  138. I just created a spreadsheet. Not sure it's the right way, but I think it will help me.

  139. I'm coming out of lurkdom to thank you for this post. I'd be up for a prize, mainly the mentoring or the critique. I'm not sure if you have my correct email: cathy shouse the number five at aol dot com

  140. Way to go Susan!!! KNOCK DOWN THOSE BARRIERS~!~~ WOOT!!

  141. There is no right way, Christina. Good for you. Pam may let you in her Excel club now.

  142. Cathy Shouse! Long time no see and I know it's because your writing. You are a writer jack of all trades. My heroine!!

  143. I confess I am a lurker and only rarely comment. But I enjoy reading your posts. I am just a reader, not a writer. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  144. We like readers, no writers without readers.

    Welcome Boos Mom.

  145. Boos Mum, there is never, ever, ever "Just a reader"... You are the very reason we do what we do, sister!!!!!

    Yay for you!!!!!!!!!!!

    Susan Codone, nice to see you! And Cathy Shouse, I get to rub elbows with you sometimes on facebook, 'sup?????

    I love it when Teeeeeeena riles folks up.

    Rosetti Curse.



    A-stinkin'-dorable hot cop.

    Still smiling when I think of it!

  146. oh boy! oh boy! oh boy! Do I ever need this! I get so bogged down because every time I start to write, I end up going back and editing, so I really like this plan. Now if I could somehow combine this with a plan to get my lazy butt up otu of my chair and exercise we'd be doing great!

  147. I'm taking this challenge. Count me it. I'm going to allow myself to write a really bad book.


    Anna Labno

  148. Welcome LeAnne!!

    I hear you LeAnne.

    Seems like if I am on track writing, I am off track physically.

  149. Hi Anna!

    Yes. Permission granted. It probably will not turn out to be a bad book you know.

  150. I try to write a chapter a day, five days a week during the summer and two -three chapters during the school year.

  151. Just happened upon your blog. I am a screenplay writer and film maker (aspiring) and feel like your advice is valuable for anyone working toward a goal. Thanks!

  152. Good goals, Rebekah!! You are a busy gal.

  153. Thanks for the kind words, Whimsey!

  154. Well, Miss Tina, I won't lie... I am definitely not a writer (readers would cringe!) and I can't run but I LOVE Seekerville! Thank you for this fine post and sharing your wisdom. :)

    Wanda Barefoot

  155. Tina,

    This is a super fabulous post. And it came at the perfect time for me.

    I am going to be safe but ambitious and set my goal at the intermediate writer level after a long bout of not writing anything.It's the minimum I should be doing.

    Again, a wonderful post and thank you for offering up the challenge to help us feel empowered.

  156. Hi Tina! I'm going to work on the beginner plan. This post really encouraged me today. Thanks for taking time to review my 5 pages the other day. Your compliment calling me a seasoned writer made my day and your helpful critique gave me an idea of where to go from here:)

  157. Thanks, Wanda. We like you too!!!

    Stick around. More fun to come.

  158. KD Fleming. Girl, where HAVE YOU BEEN???

  159. Sara Ella! So glad my critique was helpful. Now enter that contest!!!!

  160. Is this where we comment to enter the contest or am I at a loss ?
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

  161. Hey Tina. The only happy thing that's happened to me this year is signing with my fabulous agent in February. From there it went downhill fast. We lost both my husband's parents within 2 months of each other.

    I'm finally resurfacing and reclaiming my writing life and things are looking much improved. Praying that 2013 goes out on a fireworks bang instead of an incoming missile strike like the middle of the year has been.

    I've been following you guys, it's just been from a solo kayak out past the channel markers.

    Everyone on the island seems to be doing well and I pray it stays that way.

    You guys are the greatest.